Walton 'scared' by Pools form
Simon Walton has described Hartlepool's form as "scary" after a fifth successive defeat left them three points clear of the bottom two.
Pools, relegated from League One last summer, were looking up at the play-offs after a 4-0 home win against Bristol Rovers a month ago left them three points off the top seven, but Saturday's 2-1 home defeat to Chesterfield saw them slip to 18th in the table.
"To be in this situation now is quite scary to be honest," Walton told the club's official website.
"We've conceded shocking goals through sloppiness, laziness, however you want to put it - it's not good enough and we need to realise that because we have four massive games left."
He added: "We realise it's not good enough and the sooner we sort that the better because whether we like it or not we're in a relegation battle."
Colin Cooper's side chase a first win in six games at play-off chasing Burton on Saturday and then face games against relegation rivals Morecambe (home) and Plymouth (away) before the visit of fellow strugglers Exeter on the final day.